As a new school year approaches, students and families nationwide are hoping to take advantage of promotion to cut expenses during difficult economic time.

It is a time when they scour all media for deals being offered by different supermarkets and bookstores,
On the other hand, supermarkets and bookstores are hoping they can boost sales of stationery and other items before schools open.

To this end, they have launched promotions specifically targeting the back-to-school crowd.

The Co.op Mart supermarket chain, for instance has coordinated with its partners to offer discounts of up to 47 percent on 800 items, including student uniforms, notebooks, pens and other school supplies.

It will also set aside about 4 billion VND (140,000 USD) to present 800,000 notebooks as gifts to shoppers on July 20-21 under its “Vo Xinh chung em toi truong” (We go to school with nice notebooks) programme.

Accordingly, all Co.opmart stores in HCM City will present eights 96 page Co.op Mart brand notebooks for every invoice of 500,000 VND (23 USD) and above. Those with invoices of 300,000 VND (14 USD) and above at Co.opmart stores outside HCM City will receive five notebooks.

French supermarket chain Big C is also running a discount programme called “Cung be toi truong” (Go to school with kids) until July 22.

The programme offers special discounts of five-50 percent on more than 700 items including notebooks, pens, uniforms and school bags.

Many bookstores in HCM City, including Thang Long, Nguyen Van Cu, Van Lang and Gia Dinh, are offering 10-15 percent discounts on textbooks, notebooks backpacks and other items.

Big C has also announced that in a special effort to help disadvantaged children, it will collect used clothes and books for 2-12 year olds at all its 24 outlets nation-wide.

Donors will be awarded 1,000 "Big Xu" points on their member cards for each book contributed and a 10,000 VND (0.4 USD) voucher for each shirt or pair of trousers.